Plea to residents after new COVID-19 mutation found in Lancashire

Residents in West Lancashire and Preston are being urged to get a COVID-19 test if they’re feeling unwell after cases of the new mutation initially found in Liverpool have come to light in Lancashire.

Symptoms of the new mutation include mild flu or cold symptoms, and headaches.

Some people with it may just be a bit under the weather. But if you live in the Preston or West Lancashire areas, where the mutation has been found, please get tested if you’re feeling unwell.

It’s vital that everyone continues to respect the lockdown and follow the hands, face, space rules; as this is the most effective way to control the spread of all variants of coronavirus.

Dr Sakthi Karunanithi, director of public health and wellbeing at Lancashire County Council, said: “If you live in Preston or West Lancashire and you’re feeling under the weather, please get a COVID-19 test.

“It doesn’t matter if you don’t have the three classic symptoms of a fever, loss of taste or smell, or a cough – even a headache could be an indication you may have this mutation.

“Understandably, some residents may be concerned, but all viruses mutate over time so this should not cause any further alarm. Alongside our partners, please rest assured that we are monitoring the situation closely. It is important to stress that there is currently no evidence that this mutation alone causes more severe illness or is more transmissible.

“The best way to control the spread is for everyone to continue to abide by the lockdown rules and following the simple steps of washing your hands, using a face covering and making space from each other.

“While COVID-19 has been here for a while now, these new variants remind us that we all need to keep doing what we can to stay safe and avoid spreading Covid to each other.”

Book your test by visiting When asked why you are getting one, please use the option that ‘the council has asked you to get a test’.

Extra mobile testing units are also being deployed to the areas where the E484K mutation has been identified, to help ramp up testing. Details can be found on the West Lancashire Borough Council website.